Prester crafts his tones precisely, and artfully, with obvious thought and introspection.” (Honolulu Star Bulletin)
“... remarkable range of emotion and dynamic in his performance, executed with the utmost respect for the music and the composer. “ (Mid-Week Hawaii)
“Robert is an extremely talented pianist... his compositions are powerful, sensitive, and intelligent.” (This Week in New York)
Robert Prester’s natural talent became apparent when he began his classical piano studies at the age of 3, soon continuing at the prep- division of the Manhattan School of Music. He was later awarded a scholarship there to earn his Masters of Music degree. Robert’s first recording,Trillium,released on Island Records in 1988, was nominated for the Grammy Awards quarter-finals. The Rob Prester Group performs his original music in New York, Hawaii, West Palm Beach, and has appeared in Los Angeles, Boston, and jazz festivals throughout the country. The most recent recording, Complex Carbohydrates, presents Robert’s newest compositions, featuring his jazz and latin-jazz piano work.
One of Robert’s early projects on the New York scene was a commission to compose and produce the soundtrack for the C “ ityKids Foundation show, which premiered in the St. James Theater on Broadway. As Musical Director for the production he appeared with Herbie Hancock and Grover Washington Jr. on the Phil Donahue show. Pursuing his talents as performer, composer and arranger, he was fortunate to work alongside such artists as Branford Marsalis, and Randy Brecker, Performances in jazz festivals, cruise ship show-bands, and corporate tours have taken him to international venues including Canada, France, Spain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Robert has held teaching positions at the Rockland Conservatory and Opus 118 in New York, and currently Robert teaches out of his studio in West Palm Beach Gardens, and is an instructor at the Florida Atlantic University LLS program teaching among other things, his newly developed course, "Deconstructing Jazz".
Robert also spends time in Hawaii, where he has performed with the Honolulu Symphony as pianist for pops concerts. His keyboard playing aired on episodes of MTV’s Real World and he was invited to perform as featured guest soloist with the University of Hawaii Jazz Ensemble and to conduct seminars on improvisation at the University of Hawaii. An active teaching practice has been part of the mix of Prester’s professional activities, having been on the faculty of the Rockland Conservatory of Music, and Opus 118, the music school made known throughout the world by the feature film, Music of the Heart, with Merryl Streep.
In recent years, Robert’s connection with his classical roots has reemerged as a major focus, leading him to perform solo concert recitals in New York, Maine, Florida, Massachusetts, and Hawaii as well as duo-piano programs with his mother, Marcia Prester. His newest classical composition, a solo piano sonata, was recently premiered at the Festival Internacional de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and was performed at the National Gallery in Washington DC. He now resides in South Florida, teaching, recording, composing, and concertizing.